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  • Einar Páll Svavarsson

Reykholt and Snorri Sturluson


Snorri Sturluson author statue at Reykholt
Snorri Sturluson author statue at Reykholt

For many reasons, Reykholt in the west region is a crucial historical and cultural place in Iceland. In medieval times it was the center of power, culture, and power struggle among chiefs that fought hard never shy to engage in challenging and deadly battles. One of the largest personalities in all events related to power, accumulation of wealth, and leadership was Snorri Sturluson.


Snorri Sturluson

The Church at Reykholt
The Church at Reykholt

Snorri was highly intelligent and received the best education available in his time. As a poet, a writer, a scholar and historian, a chieftain, and a man of enormous political ambitions and influence he became one of the largest individuals in Icelandic history. Snorri wrote two of the most famous Sagas, Heimskringla, and Edda, and is believed to have written the Saga of Egill Skallagrímsson. This is also the place where Snorri met his fate when his former son-in-law Gissur Þorvaldsson killed him in 1241. The small museum Snorrastofa is a cultural center celebrating the life and achievement of this cultural and political giant. It is an interesting place to visit and absolutely worth it to spend some time there.


Snorralaug the very old geothermal pool

Snorralaug
Snorralaug

The small geothermal pool surrounded by flat stones is probably one of the oldest pools in Iceland. Often used by Snorri for bathing and relaxation and so important to him that he built a tunnel from the pool to his house. Although the pool is still at Reykholt it is probably not the one used by Snorri himself. It is remarkable that Icelanders used geothermal pools as far back as the 12th century. A method currently used by almost every town, village, and farm to heat houses and also for swimming pools.


The church and the cultural center


The West Region in Iceland Map
The West Region in Iceland Map

Today Reykholt is a school, a museum, and a cultural center. It is an excellent place to stop and rest and visit the museum. The pool is, of course, a perfect place for a selfie, and you should take the time to visit the church.


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